As I’m settling into California, I am trying to cover as many wine regions as I can. Having recently visited Anderson Valley, I am thrilled to share my Top 10 Eats & Wineries you must experience if you make it up there. This region is fabulous- not only for their amazing cool coastal wines, but also for their small town charm, the lovely intimate feeling you experience when visiting and the quiet slower pace compared to Napa Valley for example. Not to say I don’t love Napa, you can see my Top 10 Napa Wineries here, however, sometimes you want a chill weekend with a slower pace. For that type of getaway, I highly recommend Anderson Valley. The below destinations are within Boonville or Philo all within 10 minutes or so from each other. Happy eating, drinking, and relaxing!!
Handley Cellars Winery
Handley Cellars Winery has best tasting room views (shown below on a foggy afternoon) with delicious wines and Pinot Noir wines that I’m obsessed with. I opened one of the wines I purchased during my visit and enjoyed it so much I may have finished the bottle in one night. They are that good. Super feminine, with medium body, texture, and extremely smooth. 3151 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466
Tasting an oldie but a goodie, this Estate Chardonnay is the best. I buy this in bulk as it’s great for every day or for a gift or a party wine. Everyone loves this Chardonnay!
The Estate Pinot Noir is another go to wine for me. It’s so flavorful, balanced, with great spice from the cool Anderson Valley climate and really well priced. I buy bottles of this every visit to Handley Cellars!
Although I think of Handley Cellars as a still wine house their Sparkling Brut Wines are phenominal. Give them a few years (if you can wait) as I’ve had a very very old bottle at a winemaker dinner and it was superb!
The incredible line up of Handley Pinot Noir. I love their full body, dark fruit flavor, and amazing spices.
Views of the beautiful Anderson Valley as well as the stunning NEW Lexus UX200 I had on my most recent trip to Mendocino. Every time I head up the coast and pass Boonville I stop and see my friends at Handley Cellars!
The Witching Stick Tasting Room
My other favorite Chardonnay (since you read about another at Handley Cellars) in Boonville is from The Witching Stick Tasting Room. I discovered this Chardonnay at The Bewildered Pig while I was there for dinner. It was so incredible I visited the tasting room and fell in love. Amazing wines, a super nice approachable winemaker, and a charming setting. What more do you need! 8627 Highway 128. Philo, CA. 95415.
Baxter Tasting Room
During a recent visit to Anderson Valley (most likely my 3rd or 4th visit of 6 or 7 so far), I had the pleasure of experiencing Baxter’s Tasting Room and their wines which were incredibly delicious, well balanced, and just beautiful. They are on the lighter Burgundian side with high quality and flavored Anderson Valley sourced grapes, and a lovely quaint tasting room with modern decor, friendly team, and great wines. I also spotted these wines in San Francisco at one of my favorite restaurants, State Bird & Provisions (read more about State Bird & Provisions here) and my dad and I ordered it and loved it so much we had a second bottle (between the two of us). 8660 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466
Toulouse Vineyards & Winery
Toulouse Vineyards & Winery is one of the newer additions to this list as I have only visited once (since many friends recommended it) and after the visit, I understand why. The wines are high quality, well made at great prices. The tasting room is quite minimal and bare (as is most of Anderson Valley) but people clearly come here (time and time again) for their tasty wines, well priced and the laid back setting of the tasting room vibe! 8001 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466
Phillips Hill Winery
Phillips Hill was one of the first wineries I visited on my first trip to Anderson Valley. Winemaker Toby Hill fell in love with Pinot Noir in 1997, making his first wine in 2002. His Wines are earthy with very little intervention. They’re well made and quite lovely and a true reflection of the sense of place from each of the unique vineyards Toby is harvesting from. And the tasting room has quite a bit of character from Toby’s background as an artist and it’s quite old with a historic charming feel to it that feels very Anderson Valley. 5101 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466
Husch Vineyards is the most charming historic tasting room in Anderson Valley. Literally, when you see this historic house (it looks like an old farmhouse (shown below)) you’ll understand the charm. Plus, their wines are delicious! 4400 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466
Golden Eye Winery
For the best Food & Wine Winery Tasting visit Golden Eye Winery. I experienced the Estate Tasting which I highly recommend. It includes amazing Wines, including Pinot Noir & Chardonnays (two of my favorite’s), paired with delicious cheese. Pretty hard not to love that! Read more about The Golden Eye Estate Tasting here. 9200 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466.
Navarro Winery showcases the best vineyard views and the largest assortment of wine varietals! I visited Navarro on Sunday after a long weekend of rain and the vineyard views were incredible. They also have an extensive wine list and I tasted about 10-12 wines- all of which I found impressive for different reasons (varietal, style, technique…). To experience a variety of great wines and unique varietals with gorgeous views, I recommend visiting Navarro Winery. 5601 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466.
Black Kite Cellars
Although Black Kite Cellars does not have a tasting room in Anderson Valley, I still included them as they’re another great small family owned producer in this region making spectacular wines. Their vineyards are located in Anderson Valley (just up the mountain from Roederer Estate (towards the coast) and after visiting the vineyards (and seeing their stunning family home which you can read about here) it felt fitting to add them to this list! Black Kite Cellars is available in Windsor at Grand Cru Custom Crush so if you want to try these fabulous Anderson Valley Wines, check them out there!
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Anderson Valley Brewing Company is the best spot for a break from Wine Tasting. After hours of wine, there is nothing more refreshing than a beer! Check out The Anderson Valley Brewing Company (just a few blocks from town). There isn’t food (besides chips), but the beer may have been the most refreshing drink I had all weekend! After hours of wine tasting beer can really hit the spot. 17700 CA-253, Boonville, CA 95415.